Avatar with Thundercats.

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (2011)' started by Mark M, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are both excellent shows I have started watching and now that I have watched quite a bit of The Last Airbender I can see why there was so many comparisons made to the 2011 Thundercats series.
    It seems that they wanted to recapture the success of Avatar and just use Thundercats as a vehicle for it trying to make Thundercats something it wasn't. Basically pushing a square peg in a round hole.
    There was so many influences from other successful movies and TV shows rather than focusing on what made the original Thundercats series such a success.
    Don't get me wrong I do like the NS for what it is but I can't help but think had they not tried making it so much like Avatar things might be different. I know that sounds odd because with Avatar I love the whole going on a quest and Aang learning as he goes along. I just don't think this theme worked so well for Thundercats.

    I think something like this happened.

    Dear Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko,
    I really loved your awesome Avatar cartoon. I am working on the new Thundercats series. I am going to make it as much like your awesome cartoon as I can. :thumbsup: Hope you like it.
    XX
    Your #1 fan,
    Michael Jelenic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  2. balgus82

    balgus82 Thunderian Legend

    I'm sure there was some similarities because Ethan Spaulding worked on both series.
     
  3. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Spaulding only directed and did some storyboards and artwork for Avatar.

    It still doesn't justify trying to make Thundercats like Avatar.
     
  4. NuudoruNoMasho

    NuudoruNoMasho Berbill

    I thought that a liiitle bit. Hooooowever it seems to be just a general stylistic choice of anime-esk American Comics thing that's going around a little bit at the moment. I noticed that Young Justice thing was stylistically in a similar Genre as well. Incidentally, I found myself Comparing it to a LOT of different things Avatar, Cowboy bebop, Ronin warriors, Juusenshi Gulkeeva, Sonic sat am, Brave frog... Redwall (Oy! did they mis their calling on that one, they were working on the wroooong 80s anthropomorphic animal series, they ought to have been doing redwall... Though that does mean no tech... hehe space Cluny). Which is fine. Everything has a percentage of derivation and the MORE thing you see to compare it is generally better. It is a little odd that they remind me of everything BUT the OS....
     
  5. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    This is my point exactly. Too much trying to be something it isn't and should never have been.
    Tygra was the best character in the NS but aside from being a tiger man with a whip he had absolutely nothing at all in common with his OS version.
     
  6. balgus82

    balgus82 Thunderian Legend

    I don't think being like Avatar is necessarily a bad thing. Avatar was a popular show for a reason. It's well written and for an American cartoon it's EXTREMELY well animated and choreographed. If anything I'd say that ThunderCats could've stood to be a little MORE like Avatar.
     
    Luckinekolives likes this.
  7. NuudoruNoMasho

    NuudoruNoMasho Berbill

    They needed to emulate the well constructed presentation of avatar (actually anyone looking to write a serial should look at that show). The structure, and the clarity (yet still managing not to completely telegraph their twists).

    I wanna be fair to the writers though.... We've mostly all seen the old one right?..... it's coo coo bananas. Clarity and structure was working against them (though it prooooblaby can be done to a certain degree). This was a hard assignment. I'm a dumb little fan that thinks she knows things, but when I take the time to look at it from a technical stand point. You would have to be fearless to pull that thing off.
     
  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Sadly they did not copy the most important parts that made Avatar such a popular show. Consistent great writing and really likeable and interesting characters, including the bad guys. In those areas Thundercats really should have been a lot more like Avatar.
    Merged Post:
    I would agree that the writers did have a very hard assignment. They tried to capture what was in the 80's cartoon and fit it into this Avatar tribute storyline and for the most part failed at what they tried to do as far as creating likeable interesting characters for viewers to care about and in terms of writing a compelling story. The most interesting stories they did do where stand alone episodes that didn't really add anything to their on going storyline. Considering it was such a small writing team I thought it would have been easier for them to work together and make the characters and story somewhat coherent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
    Luckinekolives likes this.
  9. NuudoruNoMasho

    NuudoruNoMasho Berbill

    It takes more than that. You can't just do things you aren't wired for. Weirdly, the OS had a similar problem, it was a comic book type show.... written by people who did NOT come form the world of comic books. They came from the world of stage and traditional literature. They saw the loony comic stuff and said "I wanna do that too" and it came off a bit odd. When they tried to be "comic book" it didn't quite... work. But when they played to their strengths, it was great! Ya see. Here in the NS we have the opposite problem. A bunch of writers from the world of comic books trying to write stuff from the world of high fantasy, theater and liturature. And they missed a few (A lot) of the nuances of that type of writing. Also I think there might have been a little fear of looking stupid. You can't just write anything because your a writer. They were assigned (or vied for) something not in their wheel house. That's really the only thing I can say with any certainty. We weren't there, we don't know what went wonky.
     
  10. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Yeah as I said on some posts quite a while back they had a lot of the wrong people working on all aspects of the show.
    Although I don't want my comments taken as the ranting of an OS fanboy because it's not it's just an honest opinion. The OS had quite few pretty bad episodes as well. In some cases a writer could write a truly great episode then the next episode would be nowhere near the same quality.
    I assume these TV writers face the same problems we artists face when given a commission for a certain piece. Just because we can paint and draw certain things does not mean you can paint and draw everything as good in various styles.
     
  11. NuudoruNoMasho

    NuudoruNoMasho Berbill

    Quite right... Although the problem may have been that they just needed ONE more person of a different mindset to make that work. Someone to fill in the gaps. I feel that they came close to something that could have at least been very moving and worth while (OS comparisons aside, though that could have been fixed too). It's kind of an uncanny valley. They were so close... but slightly off in places and it was unnerving. Someone of a different mind than the guys working on it might have been a good counterbalance. Strong where their weak, weak where they're strong... that sort of thing. Balanced.... Aaaand the Avatar comparison breaks mold and becomes applicable in some kind of reverse Meta 0.o
     
  12. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I do get what you mean and I agree.
     
  13. Gold Lion

    Gold Lion Great Void Dweller

    I do agree that the writers weren't used to doing fantasy stories with a season long plot. Jelenic worked on Batman: the Brave and the Bold previously. It was a good show, but very different from what the NS tried to be.

    I've seen both Last Airbender and Korra, and while I agree that objectively the NS Thundercats aren't as good as Atla and not quite as good as Korra, I do think the NS does some things better than either of those two, and I think it has mainly to do with how the themes are presented and the main hero character.

    Maybe it's just me, but I feel as though the conflict between the Fire Nation and the other nations never felt as tense as between the Cats and Lizards, despite the show taking place during a war. I think it's because the lizards lost before, and seeing the lengths they go to for revenge helps drive the point.

    There's also how Lion-O compares to the main characters. In a way he's like Zuko, being the prince of the "evil" empire who has to redeem his people and find peace. Granted, Lion-O doesn't go through as much character twists, but he has his own issues with living up to being a leader, which we don't see happen with Zuko until the sequel comics.

    Another thing is that I think Lion-O's main character conflict is more interesting than Aang or Korra's (though not Zuko's), as well as his position as leader. While Aang and Korra are the heros and the Avatar, I feel as though Lion-O's role as king put more pressure on him, and the NS did a better job showing his weaknesses than Avatar did in showing Aang or Korra's. While the Avatar has a responsibility to the whole world, it lways seems like Korra had plenty of time to relax and not need to stress when things were relatively okay. They still get to act like kids, but to me it felt like Lion-O lost that luxury when Claudus died.

    We do get episodes where Aang and Korra feel the pressure of being the Avatar and the fear of failing the people their meant to save. The series happened because Aang ran away from his responsibility, resulting in him freezing himself for 100 years. But it rarely seemed like they had to make many hard decisions, more like a general lack of confidence that people go through. Lion-O goes through that too, but I think in his case we get a better understanding of how he finds his own inner strength. With Aang and Korra, it usually feels like they find their inner strength mostly just through being pushed to the point where they have to, or a solution falls into their lap, but with Lion-O we get to see him find another way through his own means. He failed his trial at first, but he found another way to save his friends, and he passed his other trials by thinking outside the box. And Lion-O doesn't win in the end simply by unlocking a new power, but also through the allies he makes and the bonds of friendship he has with others. Those themes are there in Avatar and Korra, but they aren't used in this way very often.

    What I think the NS does better is it shows the struggle of trying to create peace between people who have been in conflict for a long time. When the war with the Fire Nation ends, most of the conflict just ends there, and the same goes with the Equalist movement, but in the NS they drive home the point that there is a deep seated tension between the races that cannot be easily overcome simply by beating the bad guys, and that's the real conflict of the NS.

    Thundercats makes it a big deal to show when Lion-O shows mercy to the lizard soldiers when he has the chance and goes out of his way to save them. While the NS's main villains aren't as interesting as those in Avatar, I feel as though it does a better job of showing the point of view of the soldiers they fight. The reasons the Fire Nation went to war in the first place are flimsy at best, and the Fire Nation soldiers don't seem to have a reason beyond following orders. The Equalists had a reason, but I think down the line the first season of Korra lost focus on that, and the Equalists became more generic, like the writers dropped the ball and wasted a good way to explore how helpless and angry non-benders feel. With the lizards, you know exactly how they feel, and how they feel about working under Mumm-Ra.

    Long before, I compared Tygra and Lion-O's relationship to that of Zuko and Azula, as well as how greatly it contrasts. Both Lion-O and Tygra think of themselves as the "Zuko" of their family, the one who has to prove themselves against the other. Lion-O is the next in line, but Tygra is the favorite and older. That would seem to make Tygra more like Azula, but Azula rarely ever showed the same kind of jealous resentment. What makes Tygra like Zuko is we know that deep down he's just as self-conscious as Lion-O, but tries to look confident.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  14. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Gold Lion I agree with some of what you have said. To sum it up I think the NS had a lot of potential and had great ideas and themes but failed to execute them successfully on screen.
     
  15. NuudoruNoMasho

    NuudoruNoMasho Berbill

    Writers didn't drop the ball on Korra as much as Nickolodean reeeeaaaaallly didn't want to continue avatar but they felt that just ignoring that many fans might just ruin them. (heaven forbid they sell the property to someone who'd really want to produce it...) And because ot that, korra was horribly rushed (for the same reason Thundercats was kinda rushed). The studios who owned them didn't have much faith in them and really just wanted them gone. So they tied them down to writing a full story in the space of not enough episodes.

    Yet another area where Avatar and the NS AND Sybiotic Titan are comparable from a production standpoint... Avatar wanted to at least give something with closure. Symbiotic Titan wanted to tell it's story properly. And the NS kinda did both. With Avatar you have closure for that first season but it was horribly rushed. Symbiotic Titan paced itself beautifully and risked not having closure on a gamble that Cartoon Network might give it a second season (and they didn't) so zero closure. The NS wanted as much story told as possible in time allotted but couldn't finish, giving some semblance of closure with all his friends he's made coming together to help them at the end. gambling on a second season (it shouldn't have been gambling... but there you go). So we end up with Partial Closure and a horrible bottomless cliff-hanger.

    Again, I don't think they were trying to copy Avatar. Their mission statements are a bit different. They want to take the unprovoked directionless hostility, via war, racism and classicism, head on. That's where The NS is more in line with Kerokko Demetan (Brave Frog) and Juusenshi Gulkeeva. By the by if you can stand Old anime (and a mean streak) I Highly recommend the two shows I mentioned.... You're gonna have to put up with subs though.... And in the case of brave frog, only in spanish and french.
     
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  16. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I have just started the second season of TLA. I am going to finish it and maybe the third before starting the second season of Korra.
    I might give those a watch at some point but I already have a massive amount of stuff to watch first before adding more. Really glad I listened to you and took a chance on TLA and Korra. I went top the cinema the other night and seen 'Guardians of the Galaxy' but I wasn't really interested in it. As soon as I got home I watched the first to episodes of season two of TLA. Truth be told I enjoyed them more than the movie LOL.
     
  17. NuudoruNoMasho

    NuudoruNoMasho Berbill

    Well thanks for starting the topic. I enjoy the opportunity to compare and contrast, foster conversation on the world of creative production. To ask "how" things came to be. Learning and updating.
     
  18. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Also I find it odd how everyone says the NS ends on a Cliff-hanger. It's not a cliff hanger. Lion-O united the races and stopped Mumm-Ra for the time being leaving the door open for more confrontations in the second season.
     
  19. NuudoruNoMasho

    NuudoruNoMasho Berbill

    It's sort of a cliffy in vertue of the fact that they gave one of them stones deallies to mumm-ra which we know is part of collect-o-thon of four rocks needed to have this big powerful weapon hoosit. There's one more. Liono hasn't really united anything as much as "called in a favor." Meaning to me that this is just the Beginning of uniting people. I suppose the writers could consider it done though... things tend to be sort of shallow on the show.
     
  20. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Well I would say that would have a lot of things to work out to fully unite them but at least they banded together for a little while to help win a pretty big victory over Mumm-Ra.
    Speaking of the stones I found it a big odd that a mystical stone would be called the tech stone and basically power a technological city by magic....War, Spirit and Soul stone I could understand, although technically wouldn't the soul and spirit stone be the same thing?
     

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